What is self-editing you ask?
Well, it could mean one of two things:
- Editing your own writing.
- Editing yourself.
In this instance, I want to discuss the second meaning.
Here’s the thing. We’re busy hosting a treasure hunt across social media to market the upcoming release of Jozi Flash 2017. It’s a big deal for me, because I’m the publisher and editor of the anthology. I’m also a contributing author. Along with nine other extremely talented authors and one amazing artist, we’ve created a collection of flash fiction stories across eight genres and we’re going to be offering it as a FREE download.
In deciding how to market it, I had to consider the following:
- What image do I want to give of Chasing Dreams Publishing?
- What image do I want the contributing authors to give of themselves and their writing?
- How do I ensure that in giving access to their individual social media sites, they maintain the high standard that I expect of myself (and therefore of others) on their sites?
The last was a major concern for me, because I am a perfectionist. I like everything to be pretty and neat and professional to a degree. But here’s the thing – that’s me. It’s not necessarily any of the other authors. And while I could potentially request that the authors edit themselves for the sake of fitting into the mould, that wouldn’t really be fair.
Which got me to thinking about how many authors, artists and other professionals who use social media intentionally hide aspects of their personalities in order to be more professional. It made me wonder how many people are forced to sign contracts that require editing aspects of themselves out of their social media.
I get it, I really do. There are levels of professionalism that need to be maintained when you’re trying to build a solid business as an author/blogger/artist/etc. The fact remains though, that these professionals are also, in most cases, individuals. Real people with real lives and their social media should be their responsibility to manage.
Which is why, when the Jozi Flash contributors and I had the discussion about branding themselves as authors, I didn’t ask them to censor themselves. I didn’t ask them to pretend to be people they’re not. I just asked that they be sure that the image they portray on their media, is one that they’re comfortable with.
So today, for self-editing, I’m going to give you some tips on what to do, and what not to do when you’re marketing yourself as a professional on social media.
Tips for self-editing on social media:
- Be yourself. Authentic and genuine. No one else can be who you are, so don’t try to be someone else.
- Be positive. Negative comments about yourself or others tends to leave others with a negative perception of you. This includes running yourself or your work down for any reason. It’s not a pretty picture. Don’t do it.
- Be respectful. Not everyone is going to agree with or like you, but the great thing about social media is, they don’t have to follow you, and you don’t have to respond to them. There are unfollow and unsubscribe buttons for a reason!
- Be proud of yourself. I cannot stress this one enough! As creators, we tend to be cursed with insecurities and doubts about our work. We put it out there on social media, hoping for validation from complete strangers. It may never come. The only one who can truly validate your work, is you. So be proud of what you do.
- Be open to growth and learning. Criticism, even when it’s constructive, can hurt a lot, but it’s an invaluable tool to improving your craft, and even yourself. If it hurts, it’s because there’s an aspect of truth in it, and that’s an opportunity to improve.
- Be grateful. For opportunities, for people, for life. Gratitude inspires gratitude in others, and generally leads to all-round happiness.
- Be opinionated. Opinions matter. They lead to critical thinking, which leads to discernment which is next on the list.
- Be discerning. Ask yourself whether it’s necessary to post something, and if you’re following the above pointers by doing so. If you are, then hit that share button. If you’re not, perhaps you may want to reconsider why you want to share it.
At the end of the day, when social media is properly utilised, it becomes a super-power for individuals all around the world. It’s your responsibility to decide whether you’re going to be a hero or a villain. If you lean towards the latter, at least make sure that your villainy isn’t just a troll in a cape.
Are you a hero or villain? Do you ever edit out stuff you would like to say because it may not be professional? And finally, have you seen our #FindJoziFlash17 treasure hunt?* The second clue is up on Justin’s Twitter!**
*This is unabashed promotion of the hunt, I know. I would apologise, but I don’t feel guilty at all. I’m excited for this event! Share it across EVERYWHERE!
**Better go grab that clue! There’s a $20 Amazon Gift Card for the winner!